White Oak Global Advisors reiterated its commitment to responsible credit investing by dedicating additional resources to deploy capital in senior secured, non-sponsored debt investments in companies that are focused on environmental and social outcomes, particularly in the areas of healthcare, environment and well-being.
White Oak can provide senior secured first lien loans that benefit small to middle market businesses that are mission driven to make a positive impact and reduce the footprint on our earth. White Oak has an established four-year track record in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) space and hopes not only to continue to provide risk-adjusted yields to investors, but also to help investors deploy capital into businesses that will make a positive impact on the environment and society.
Terésa Cutter leads the firm’s ESG and impact initiatives and has experience in building and managing ESG initiatives, including on behalf of the California State Teachers Retirement System.
“As a firm, it is in our DNA to pioneer innovative ways to help small- and medium–sized businesses,” Cutter said. “We have learned a lot since we launched our first responsible investment strategy over four years ago, before most of our competitors had even thought to enter the space. We have not wavered in our commitment to sustainable environmental and social solutions. This isn’t a check-the-box marketing initiative for us.”
White Oak is looking to help investors who wish to reduce reliance on traditional fossil fuels and mining for energy, proactively locate new sources of alternative energy, democratize access to education, and support medical solutions that improve health and wellbeing. Typical areas of interest include businesses that aspire to have a social or environmental impact in sectors like agriculture, water, renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage, and/or in responsible waste management, affordable housing, healthier and more sustainable products and services, upgrades to declining industry and infrastructure, education, the arts, elder care, and healthcare.
“Given the times, responsible investing could not be more relevant. Small and middle market businesses have been struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as one of the few approved small business lenders alongside bigger banks in certain parts of the world, we are able to play a key role in helping these business owners get back on their feet,” Andre Hakkak, CEO of White Oak, said. “Importantly, we have historically helped finance the dreams of minority business owners and will continue to work with all of our borrowers supportively, versus capitalize on their pain, as we see happening with a spate of distressed strategies that have recently hit the market.”
White Oak is guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a global blueprint for dignity, peace and prosperity for all people and the planet. The firm continues to focus primarily on non-sponsored opportunities, which it believes present fewer conflicts of interest relative to sponsored lending strategies.
“The global issues that the world is grappling with, from coronavirus to its disproportionate effects on health and race, underscore how environmental and global disasters entrench inequity, and further highlight the importance of responsible investing and allocating resources toward solutions that support a just and sustainable world,” Cutter said.
White Oak Global Advisors is an alternative asset manager specializing in originating and providing financing solutions to facilitate the growth, refinancing and recapitalization of small and medium enterprises.